French Election: Who is running part 1

This is the first article in the French Election and how it can effect the financial markets.  First step; get to know the main candidates.  Here are our 2 current front runners.

  Marine Le Pen  –  Front National Party

Marine Le Pen is a lawyer by trade and the Daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was the party’s first leader and center of the party until his resignation in 2011.

No fan of the EU, she is backing a so-called “Frexit” and promises to bring industry back to France.  Believes in a France first approach and wants to limit immigration to 10,000 entries per year.  While many believe she represents the far-right of French Politics; by promising to withdraw the El Khomri law (labour law), the FN Party echoes the political left as well.

“In the name of the people” is the the slogan being used and Le Pen desires to end “unregulated globalization” that is pitting the people vs the elites.  Keeping with “the people”, she promises to lower the retirement age to 60, reduce energy prices and taxes, introduce trade barriers that help small business and protect the civil servants by keeping the 35-hour work week.  Le Pen is expected to be in a run-off; having the highest current poll numbers; with 23.5% of the support.


  Emmanuel Macron – En Marche! Party

Emmanuel Macron is a business banker and former Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Technology under Francois Hollande.  Denouncing any affiliation with left and right politics; he left Hollande’s Socialist Government and launched his own political party; “En Marche!”.

Opposite of Le Pen, Macron is an absolute Europeanist and wants to revitalize the “European Dream” by boosting the single market and currency in a post-Brexit world.  Key manifesto points show a desire to put “French Values” at the heart of education, while reforming taxation, employment and the welfare system.  At a recent rally Macron pledged to hire 10,000 more police officers and improve cooperation between security services.  While pushing French workers to embrace mechanization stating,  “Work is going to change and we will be part of that change.”; in hopes to stop the frequent strikes around this matter.

The 39 year-old has been buoyed by improper spending allegations against Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen; but little attention has been paid to his policies.  We expect increased scrutiny of Macron now that he has reached the front of the pack; his austerity measures (60 billion Euro over 5 years) to receive the most negative attention.  Macron is currently expected to be in a run-off with 23.4% of the support.